5. Pocket Bryggen: A Self-Guided Audio tour in Bergen
Bergen’s historic harbour district, Bryggen, has long been an important part of Norway’s history. In the 12th century, the area flourished as an economic centre under the commercial domination of the Hanseatic League, a medieval merchants’ guild originating in Germany, but its survival was threatened over the centuries. On this walking tour, I’ll shed light on some of the area’s rich and complex history, and tell you how Bryggen rose from the ashes to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. Starting and ending in front of the harbour, this tour takes you through the Bryggen Hansa Quarter. Along the way, you’ll learn about the commercial area’s medieval origins, and its quick expansion. You’ll walk through its narrow wooden streets, hearing about the iconic architecture around you. I’ll also tell you about the daily working life of the Hanseatic merchants and the struggles they faced, the stockfish trade that made the area commercially rich, and the tense relations between Norwegians and the Hanseatic community. I’ll also show you the district’s main landmarks, like the Hanseatic Museum and Schøtstuene Assembly Rooms, St. Mary’s Church, Bryggens Museum, and Kjøbmandsstuen (an old Hanseatic Merchant’s Hall). On this Bryggen walking tour, you’ll have the chance to: • Find out why Norwegians despised Bryggen until the first half of the 1900s • See where the medieval ”red light district” once was • Discover where the statue of ”the naked truth” is • Learn what a king cod is and where the name comes from • Find out why part of Bryggen is made from wood and another part was rebuilt with bricks • Imagine what life was like for Hanseatic merchants in the 1400s This tour is perfect for anyone who wants to delve deeper into Bergen’s history while enjoying a leisurely walk through the streets of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Join me on this hour-long tour to meet Bryggen’s medieval merchants and fishermen, and hear their stories!